The West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has stated that all Bangladeshis living in Bengal are Indian citizens.
Addressing a public meeting, Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday that those who have from Bangladesh and have been voting in elections are citizens of India and they are not required to apply for citizenship afresh.
“Those who have come from Bangladesh are citizens of India. They have got citizenship. You don’t need to apply for citizenship again. You have been casting your votes in elections, electing PM and CM. Now they are saying that you are not citizens. Don’t believe them,” she said.
The chief minister, who is well known for her vote bank and appeasement politics to gather Muslim votes, also asserted she will not let “even a single person” be driven out of Bengal. She said no refugee, living in the state, will be deprived of citizenship.
The Trinamool Congress chief was quick at launching attacks at the central government over the Delhi violence, by saying: “Don’t forget this is Bengal. What happened in Delhi will never be allowed to happen here. We do not want Bengal to turn into another Delhi or another Uttar Pradesh.”
This is not the first time the Trinamool Congress chief has displayed her double standards regarding the NRC. In August 2018, Mamata Banerjee had slammed the Assam NRC (National Register for Citizens) draft list saying, she did not want to see her “motherland divided.” She had then said she did not support the NRC in Assam, claiming that it could lead to unrest in the country.
In her futile attempt to paint BJP as an anti-Bengali party, Mamata had then in a bizarre statement compared illegal Bangladeshi immigrants to Hilsa fish and Sondesh, a Bengali sweetmeat.
However, in contrary, a video from 2005 shows that she had raised the same issue in the Lok Sabha, only at that time she had alleged that illegal immigrants from Bangladesh had spelt disaster for West Bengal.
On 4th August 2005, when Banerjee was in the Opposition and the state was under the CPI(M) rule, she held very different views on the issue. During a session in the Lok Sabha, Banerjee had raised the issue of illegal immigrants in West Bengal, saying that illegals migrants from Bangladesh have spelt disaster for the state.
Taking street-level protest into the Parliament, she had stepped into the well of the house after being disallowed to raise this issue in the Lok Sabha and was highly condemned for throwing the papers at the Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha, Charanjit Singh Atwal, threatening to resign and storming out of the house.
Ironically, she had stated then, “Illegal Bangladeshi immigrants are a part of voter’s list in West Bengal. The state government has done nothing about it. Therefore, the issue must be discussed”.
It is bizarre to see the CM of an Indian state declaring foreigners living in India as Indian citizens. As per reports, millions of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, and Rohingya Muslims have infiltrated into India and have managed to obtain fake Indian identity documents via fraudulent means. It is not clear why a CM would bat for illegal immigrants casting votes in India. Bengal has been notorious for its porous border that facilitates illegal immigrants, mostly Muslims. The border districts of West Bengals are also the hotbed of terrorism, counterfeit currencies and smuggling.
The Bengal CM’s statement sounds like she is supporting illegals voting in Indian elections. It raises some questions. Why should people from other countries vote here? Is Mamata Banerjee supporting illegal immigrants voting in elections because she thinks that is her core vote bank?